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Interstate 91 or I -91 is an Interstate Highway in the US state of Connecticut. The highway forms a north-south route through the center of the urbanized state, running from Interstate 95 in New Haven through the state capital Hartford to the Massachusetts border at Enfield. The route is 93 kilometers long.
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Interstate 91 at Hartford.
I-91 north of Hartford.
Near the center of New Haven, I-91 branches off from Interstate 95, the highway from New York to Boston. The highway here has 2×4 lanes while driving north through the 124,000 inhabitants city. North of the city, SR-15 parallels the highway, which also comes from New York. The state of Connecticut is highly urbanized and I-91 runs continuously through built-up areas, which are located in dense forests. Shortly after New Haven, the road narrows to 2×3 lanes, and US 5 parallels the highway. Just before Meriden, SR-15 merges with I-91, and I-91 has 3+2+2+3 lanes. In the town of Meriden one crosses the Interstate 691, which runs towards Waterbury. You then have to go over a ridge, and then enter the Hartford conurbation.
One then crosses the SR-9, the highway from New Britain to the Atlantic coast in the south east. Closer to Hartford, the highway widens again to 2×4 lanes. The highway here runs parallel to the Connecticut River. At the suburb of Wethersfield, the SR-3 exits, a short highway to Glastonbury, and joins the SR-2 highway to Norwich. On the south side of Hartford it then crosses again with SR-15, which comes from Wethersfield as the main road, forming a short highway to East Hartford. One can choose this route for Interstate 84 to Boston. Along the center of Hartford is the highway, consisting of many parallel lanes, sandwiched between the river and the center with high towers next to the highway. Via a very tight junction one then crosses Interstate 84, which runs from Waterbury to Worcester and Boston. North of downtown, 2×4 lanes are once again available, crossing Interstate 291, which was once a Hartford ring road.
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Then you pass with 2×4 lanes through the urbanized valley of the Connecticut, including the Hartford airport. At Windsor Locks, one crosses the Connecticut River to walk on the east side of the river. Not far after that, they cross the border into Massachusetts and Interstate 91 in Massachusetts continues to Springfield and Québec.
First proposed in 1944, I-91 was to become the main north-south axis for the state of Connecticut. The actual construction of what would later become I-91 began as early as 1940, when a stretch of several miles was opened in Hartford along the Connecticut River. This section opened in 1945. Construction began on I-91 in 1948, and in 1950 a three-mile section opened in north Hartford. In 1956 a 3 mile extension opened to Windsor and in 1959 to Enfield on the Massachusetts border.
Construction of the southern portion from New Haven to Hartford began in 1960. This work also included the modernization of the Hartford freeway, which was opened in 1945. Work was completed in Hartford in 1964. In October 1965, a 12-mile section from Meriden to Hartford opened with 2×3 lanes. An uninterrupted journey from Washington to Boston was possible via the then existing Wilbur Cross Parkway. On January 6, 1966, the southernmost section between New Haven and Meriden opened to traffic for 20 miles, completing I-91 in Connecticut.
|Exit 29 CT-15 Wilbur Cross Highway||Exit 32A Downtown Hartford||2 km||03-10-1945|
|Exit 32A Downtown Hartford||Exit 34 Wilson||5 km||00-11-1950|
|Exit 34 Wilson||Exit 42 Windsor Locks||14 km||00-00-1958|
|Exit 42 Windsor Locks||Exit 49 Enfield||12 km||00-00-1959|
|Exit 17 CT-15 Meriden||Exit 29 CT-15 Hartford||27 km||00-10-1965|
|Exit 1 I-95 New Haven||Exit 17 CT-15 Meriden||31 km||06-01-1966|
143,500 vehicles drive daily in New Haven, dropping to about 85,000 vehicles south of Meriden. There were 110,000 to 120,000 vehicles north of the Wilbur Cross Parkway interchange, peaking at 147,000 vehicles on the south side of Hartford. 90,000 vehicles passed through downtown Hartford and 134,000 to 140,000 vehicles north of I-84 in Hartford. The busiest point is north of I-291 with 149,000 vehicles per day. This drops to 107,000 vehicles after Bradley Airport and 76,000 vehicles on the Massachusetts border.